Emma E. Parker

Published 10:04 am Sunday, April 12, 2015

WOODLAND – Emma Early Parker, age 100, died peacefully on April 9, 2015 at Breckenridge Retirement Center in Rocky Mount, NC.

Mrs. Parker was born in Ahoskie, NC (Hertford County) on December 29, 1914, a daughter of the late James Lawrence Early and Nancy Catherine Dilday. She was a graduate of Ahoskie High School and East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University) where she received her degree in Education.  Upon graduation, she taught elementary school in Mayo, NC (Edgecombe County).  While there she met Cola H. Parker, whom she married on May 12, 1938. They were married for 73 years, until his death in February, 2012.

From Edgecombe County they moved to Baltimore, MD, where she worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the breakout of World War II, while Cola was serving overseas as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Emma moved to Arlington, VA, where she worked at the Pentagon for the United States Defense Department as a Decoder. After the war they moved back to Woodland, NC, to settle and raise their family. Emma taught at Severn Elementary School for several years and then became Secretary/Treasurer of Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company, until her retirement.

Mrs. Parker was very active and involved in Potecasi Baptist Church, where she served as Sunday school teacher, treasurer, choir member, member of WMU, and various other committees. She was also very involved in various civic groups in Woodland, and she volunteered at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. One very special group that was very dear to her heart were twelve close friends who called themselves, “the lunch bunch!”  For several years they celebrated birthdays and enjoyed outings each month.

Emma and Cola enjoyed their retirement years by traveling and enjoying life to its fullest.

Service to God, family, and community were very important in her life. “Her glory is an inner glory, one who places culture above prosperity, fairness above comfort, courtesy above triumph, courage above safety, kindness above welfare, honor above success.” To Emma, every day was a beautiful day.

Besides her parents and loving husband, Emma was preceded in death by five sisters, Eva, Effie, Lorene, Alene, and Jeanette; and nine brothers, Walter, Charlie, Claxton, Haywood, Merton, Wilson, Willard, Lawrence, and Arthur.

Left to cherish her memory are her children, Harrell Parker of Rocky Mount, NC, and Jenny P. Hester and husband, Tommy of Henderson, NC; two grandchildren, Hope Hester Jackson and husband, Matt, and Thomas S. Hester, III; and three great grandchildren, Chandler Lee, Jason Lane, and Bryson Jackson of Henderson, NC.

For the past seven years, Mrs. Parker has been a resident of Breckenridge Retirement Center in Rocky Mount, NC. The family is very grateful and thankful for the loving and compassionate care that she received. In her final days, Hospice 3HC provided excellent care and comfort.

A graveside celebration of life service will be held on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 11:00 am at Potecasi Baptist Church Cemetery, with the Rev. Dr. J. Brabban officiating.  The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions be made to Potecasi Baptist Church, P.O. Box 8, Potecasi, NC, 27867.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Parker family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.